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Franklin attorney suspended for OWI

January 22, 2018

A Franklin attorney who came to court under the influence and was later arrested for driving while intoxicated has been suspended from the practice of law in Indiana for at least one year.

In a Thursday order approving a disciplinary agreement, the Indiana Supreme Court agreed to suspend Julia N. Compton for at least one year without automatic reinstatement. Compton’s discipline comes after she failed to appear on time for scheduled child in need of services case in October 2016.

When Compton finally arrived at the mediation at 2 p.m., she was intoxicated and was, thus, unable to assist her client.  The presiding judge in the Marion Superior Court Juvenile Division ordered an officer to administer a portable breath test to Compton, whose BAC was measured at 0.23.

Compton resigned her employment with the court’s juvenile division and shortly thereafter was arrested in Johnson County for operating a vehicle while intoxicated. According to the court’s disciplinary order, she is currently waiting for trial on charges of felony OWI and a habitual offender count, among other charges.

Compton has previously been suspended for 180 days, all stayed to probation, for similar conduct in 2013.

The attorney and the Indiana Supreme Court Disciplinary Commission agreed Compton violated Indiana Rules of Professional Conduct Rule 8.4(b) – prohibiting a criminal act that reflects adversely on her trustworthiness – and 8.4(d), prohibiting conduct prejudicial to the administration of justice. The high court approved the recommended discipline of a one-year suspension without automatic reinstatement, effective Jan. 18.

The court noted Compton is already under a suspension for failing to fulfill her CLE requirements. She can petition for reinstatement at the conclusion of the one-year period, provided she pays the costs of the proceedings, fulfills the duties of a suspended attorney, cures the causes of all suspensions in effect and satisfies the requirements for reinstatement under Admission and Discipline Rule 23(18).

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